From: "Rich Kollen" - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Friday, October 17, 2014
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
2014 WEEKLY BULLETIN #7
My weekly bulletins have only two purposes:
#1 is to point out NCAA rules and philosophies in a way coaches, administrators, and officials can understand. I use situations that occur in our 14-17 SCFA games each Saturday, as well as other situations that I have witnessed or have been witnessed by colleagues of mine. I point these situations out only as learning opportunities. Human error is part of football officiating, much like errors made in play calling by coaches. Officials are all trying to get each call correct just as coaches are trying to score or get a turnover on every play. Perfection is unattainable, although it is expected by spectators, teams, coaches, and administrators. I don't expect our officials to be perfect; however, I do expect each official to strive for perfection.
#2 is to point out interesting things associated with California Community College Football. It must be a good product because over 800 student-athletes have come from other states to our 37 colleges in hopes of fulfilling their dream of playing college football. It is a great conference, and a great game.
We are still having issues with coaches not exchanging their game video on Hudl. Please share your videos each week with Southern California Football Officials Association. This will give the commissioner, officials, and me easy access to review the calls made (or not made) in the previous week for training purposes.
There is an onside kick play from a Texas high school game that has recently gone viral on the Internet. If you aren't aware, Texas high schools use NCAA rules, making it a good study for us. Our coaches might have seen the video, so do not be surprised if you see it in one of our games. I have sent it to the Referees and received some interesting answers. They will be discussing it at this week's pre-games. Question: Is it legal, under NCAA rules, for the kickers to catch the ball after it has traveled 10 yards but before it touches the ground? Answer: yes! Rule 6-1-3-2. The exception, however, is that there cannot be a player on the receiving team in position to catch the kick. If there is, that player must be given an unimpeded opportunity to catch the kick. Rule 6-4-1-a. If a kicking team player touches the ball with a receiving team player in position to catch the kick, he has interfered with the opportunity to catch the kick.
We have discussed the following play before, yet a crew missed it in overtime last weekend. The quarterback takes the snap in shotgun formation; a runner in motion goes in front of the quarterback and receives a quick short (shovel) pass. This is a pass, not a hand-off. If dropped, it is an incomplete pass, not a fumble. Somebody has to see this (probably L or H).
Referees, you must continue to protect the quarterback until the play is completely over. Getting a new ball into the game is not important if your quarterback is near the sideline. Missing a late hit on this most valuable position is inexcusable
I am seeing too many officials throw a flag, and then quit officiating. I know all of the emotions and questions when you throw a flag: Did I see it correctly? How do I explain it to the Referee? Will it be a correct call? Remember, you must continue to officiate the play because other things can happen that could be far greater than the foul you called. Speaking of throwing flags, never throw the flag at a player or into a pile of players. Throw it to an open spot on the correct yard line, if a spot foul. If not a spot foul, simply get it up in the air.
Umpires need to remember that you MUST look for a spot to place the ball down after a play. Regardless of whether you think you know where the spot is, we have two officials who are responsible for the spot, and you aren't one of them. Spots need to be discussed at your next pre-game.
Umpires, when spotting the ball on first down, put in on a line (unless after a measurement). Another tip is to identify spots between the hash marks 1-2-3-4-5...1 being the hash mark on press box side; 2 being on the upright goal post nearest the press box; 3 being the center, etc. Try to spot the ball on these marks. In addition to helping you spot the ball after an incomplete pass, it helps other officials with the low-blocking zone.
When a player's helmet comes off, except due to foul, it is a personal foul, not unsportsmanlike conduct. An official bravely stepped up last weekend and corrected the Referee after a celebration call and disqualification against a player who had previously been called for illegal helmet contact. This is why summer rules study is important. Great job to step up and keep this player in the game.
Incomplete or catch/fumble is a difficult call. Every game has the challenge of getting this play called correctly. To catch a ball, a player must possess the ball and make an act associated with the game; i.e. turning and taking a couple steps, before we can rule catch/fumble. Since our game is played without replay, use the philosophy "when in question, rule incomplete."
Any waving signal by a player fielding a kick will kill the play. By rule, any advance after that signal is a foul. Do your best to avoid that foul. The easiest way is to blow the whistle!
Timing a football game is a critical part of game management. When there is a malfunction or continuous errors made by the clock operator, advise the game administrator that the game and/or play clock will be kept on the field until the problem is solved. S and B, make sure to wear a watch in case of such occurrences. Also, please be candid with your evaluation of the chain crews, clock operators, and game management. Your input gives us the necessary information that may be given to the athletic directors to correct the problem before the next game.
Back Judges, don't be so quick to call a delay of game. When the play clock shows 0:00, look immediately at the snapper. If the ball is moving, no foul. Take your time.
Line Judge/Head Linesman: when you are in the red zone, use game awareness that a coach might be wanting a time-out. Each of you have enough experience to know when this might occur. All officials can help on this type of situation. Seeing a head coach on the field trying to get an official's attention is difficult for me to explain. That said, if you are near the goal line, make sure you allow the coach to leave the coaching box to get your attention for a timeout.
We have over 4,000 high school officials in the area we serve, and we have 225 of the best of them officiating our games. Thank you for the extra dedication of attending clinics and conference calls meetings, and being open to evaluations of your performance.
Good luck this week!
Director of Football Operations
Southern California Football Association